SC to hear Prashant Bhushan's petition seeking quashing of Centre's order appointing Rakesh Asthana as Delhi CP tomorrow

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New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Wednesday a petition filed by Prashant Bhushan's NGO, Centre For Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), seeking quashing of Centre's order appointing Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner.

A three-judge special bench of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and also comprising Justices Dr Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud and Surya Kant will tomorrow hear the petition filed by CPIL.

The CPIL, in its petition filed before the apex court, sought direction for quashing the order of July 27, 2021, issued by the respondent, Union of India (UOI) appointing Rakesh Asthana as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

The CPIL, in its petition, a copy accessed by ANI, filed before the Supreme Court, also made Rakesh Asthana one of the respondents in the case.

The CPIL, in its petition, said that the directions issued by this Court in the 'Prakash Singh' case clearly negotiated the very appointment of Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner.

"Rule 56(d) stipulates that that "No Government servant shall be granted extension in service beyond the age of retirement of sixty years", the petition filed by the CPIL before the Supreme Court said.

"The Central government did not have the power under Rule 3 of All India Services (Conditions of Service- Residuary Matters) Rules, 1960 to relax Rule 16(1) of the All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958 in order to give an extension of service to Rakesh Asthana" the petition, a copy accessed by ANI, filed before the Supreme Court by the CPIL said.

There is a violation of the policy regarding Inter-Cadre deputation of All India Service Officers as prescribed under DoPT's (Department of Personnel and Training) Office memorandum, of 2004, the petition said.

The orders, passed by the UOI, are in clear and blatant breach of the directions passed by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case, as Asthana, did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months, the petition said.

No UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) panel was formed for the appointment of the Delhi Police Commissioner, and the criteria of having a minimum tenure of two years have been ignored, the petition claimed.

It is submitted by the petitioner- CPIL, that the post of Commissioner of Police in Delhi is akin to the post of DGP of a State and he is the Head of Police Force for the NCT of Delhi and therefore, the directions concerning the appointment to the post of DGP passed by this Court in the Prakash Singh case had to be followed by the Central Government while making the said appointment.

The High-Powered Committee meeting held on May 24, 2021, the Central government's attempt to appoint the same IPS officer, as the CBI Director was reportedly rejected by the Chief Justice of India by citing the "six-month rule" as laid down in Prakash Singh, the petition said.

"No extension of service could have been legally granted to Respondent 2, (Asthana) beyond the age of retirement of sixty years, and the said extension, having been granted vide the orders of July 27, 2021, is completely illegal, being in violation of Fundamental Rule 56," the petitioner said, and pleaded from the Supreme Court that the orders of July 27 are liable to be set aside. (ANI)

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